New marine body pledges to become fishing champion –

New marine body pledges to become fishing champion Published:  08 April, 2010

THE new Marine Maritime Organisation, which last week replaced the Marine and Fisheries Agency, has pledged to be a champion of sustainable fishing and marine development.

Just days after its inauguration, the MMO which is now based in Newcastle instead of London, set out a series of commitments which it plans to undertake in the months ahead. The new executive non-departmental public body has been created under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, bringing together key marine decision-making powers and delivery mechanisms to provide an integrated method of planning, regulating and licensing activity in the marine area. The MMO , which will also have 18 regional offices at key fishing ports , has incorporated the work of the Marine and Fisheries Agency  including prosecutions for fishing related offences and has acquired several important new roles, principally marine-related powers and specific functions previously associated with the Department of Energy and Climate Change  and the Department for Transport

The MMO pledges are:-

1. To be the national champion of sustainable development in our marine and coastal area .

2. Implement a new marine planning system and a new marine licensing regime that is easier for everyone to use.

3. Streamline the management and regulation of England’s fisheries and work with Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee  to create and manage a network of protected areas, marine conservation zones designed to preserve vulnerable habitats and species.

4 Respond to marine emergencies with other agencies.

Chief Executive Officer of the MMO, Steven Gant, said “This is an important day for the sustainable development of our seas. We aim to provide exemplary levels of delivery and public service in the marine area through a truly integrated approach to marine management.”